Any book lover will proudly tell you that it's what's inside the book that counts. But let's all be honest with ourselves... books are also very pretty. Books are attractive. Books are beautiful. And a good book shop is a work of art. We may claim not to judge a book by its cover, and we all know that there's more to literature than excellent shelf presentation, but there's nothing wrong with snapping a few pics of a gorgeous book store when you find one. And some of these book stores are just show-stoppingly, heart-breakingly gorgeous. Here are some of the most Instagrammable book shops the world over, so good luck getting out of there without taking a gram (and buying at least five books).
There's already something so calming about being in a book shop. Book shops feel like a space out of time, where print media is still alive and everything smells like old paper. So when a book shop puts a little extra effort into their design and book presentation, the result is nearly a religious experience. These book shops are some of the most inventive, unique, and just plain beautiful spots for a book nerd to visit, no filter necessary:
The Strand Book Store
Strand Book Store has been a New York staple since 1927. Not only is it packed with new books, used books, and an entire room of rare and antique books, but the Strand also hosts author events, panels, and book signings on the regular. They have many different adorable, literary tote bags for sale and yes, you can buy books for a dollar from the shelves outside.
Shakespeare and Company
There are several Shakespeare and Company book shops all across the globe, but the original is still going strong in Paris, France. I mean... is there anything in Paris, France that isn't worth putting on your Instagram? Probably not. But if you're a fan of Parisian book shops and vintage typewriters, Shakespeare and Co has got you covered.
The Instagram for Kitazawa Bookstore in Japan is pretty spectacular, especially if you're a sucker for old books. This is a book store that knows how to curate a shelf of antiques, so check it out if you're a fan of classic tomes bound in leather.
Livraria Lello in Portugal is just unreasonably beautiful. This is a Beauty-and-the-Beast level room full of books, and the architecture will definitely make you feel like you're living in a castle while you peruse the latest bestsellers.
Libreria el Pendulo
Mexico's Libreria el Pendulo is that perfect blend of coffee, house plants, and more books than you could possibly read in one life time. Plus, it has two levels, for maximum gramming.
If you're headed out to California, Bart's Books is a 50-year-old open air book shop, complete with cat for all your Instagramming needs. Plus, in lieu of a cash register, Bart's Books employs the honor system for payment, making it one of the cheapest and most beautiful book shops around.
Tales on Moon Lane
For deeply adorable childrens book pics, there's always Tales on Moon Lane in England. In addition to books, Tales on Moon Lane has plenty of cute photo ops with various puppets, costumes, and other kid-friendly decor.
Atlantis Books is a picturesque book shop in picturesque Greece, where you can luxuriate in the sun and take gorgeous pictures of books against a Mediterranean backdrop.
Clarke's Bookshop in South Africa looks like the classic, iconic used book shop that exists in everyone's dreams. Sun streaming in over piles of books, just waiting to be photographed? Yes, please.
Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights
Mr. B's Emporium is a quirky, charming book shop in the U.K., because why shouldn't a book store include a man made out of book pages reading in the bathtub? The store also includes a reading booth for rent if you want to take a break from snapping pics and read for a bit.
The Last Book Store
The Last Bookstore in L.A. is so very Instagrammable, you're biggest problem is going to be deciding which part you want to Instagram first: the staircase of book genres? The cut out windows made out of books? The walk through tunnel of books? It's a strange, eclectic shop that was just made to be photographed in between browsing for the next book on your reading list.